Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Talking me down

My sister Alyx can talk me down when I get rattled.  Thank goodness.

I'm on my own this week - my husband is at the Minnesota Men's Conference until Sunday.  I'm the waterer and animal feeder at my house until then - and at our neighbors' until Friday night.  I'm also up to my usual schedule.  So I have plenty to do.

But I've had positional vertigo for a couple of weeks, which I last had ten years ago but is still as disconcerting as it was then.  I saw my doc on Tuesday and he prescribed meclizine, an over-the-counter med that appears to be working.   Unfortunately, I've also got allergies that have hit my ears from time to time for the last 30 years, for which I take antihistamines - and they give me that "my head's too big" sensation.  Then I start worrying about the size of my head, and I don't want to get in the car and drive, or take a walk, so I don't get out and I don't get any exercise.  I've posted about the dark alleyway of my brain before, so it's a little embarrassing to bring it up again.  But it's on my mind, if you know what I mean.

My sister Alyx has talked me down for the last couple of days.  She's in nursing school, and she says her conversations with me help her practice her critical-thinking skills!  Plus, she has a dark place in her brain also, so she gets it.

She reminded me of a couple of things this morning.  First, that I shouldn't take a medication that was prescribed for me for something else.  So I shouldn't be using the nasal spray at night that was prescribed for post-nasal drip just because it's also an antihistamine, unless I have post-nasal drip - which I don't now that I've changed the blood pressure medication that was causing it.  And, if I am using the nasal spray because it's an antihistamine, I shouldn't also be taking Allegra, an over-the-counter allergy medication - because it's an antihistamine also, and I don't need to be taking two.

I should have thought of that myself.  I'm overmedicating.  Another embarrassing thing.

For the last few years I've taken amino-acid therapy (Zen) for winter blues.  I take it from October 1 to March 31, during the dark times in the Pacific Northwest, along with light therapy.  This summer I found an herbal remedy for mild anxiety, which I've been taking as a supplement for a couple of months.  On a visit to the naturopath last week (for an issue related not to allergies but to being postmenopausal), she read the contents of the herbal remedy, noted it contained amino acids, and said, "Don't take this if you're taking the Zen."  I figured, well, she wasn't familiar with the herbal remedy, and I take a very low dose of Zen, so maybe it will be okay.  My sister said, "Linda, the doctor told you not to take both.  Do what the doctor recommended."

I should have thought of that myself, too.

Fortunately, I heard my sister.  So I won't use the nasal spray, and I will use only the Zen - even if it's two weeks before October 1.

And then, with less medication of any kind in my system, I'll walk to the library this afternoon and then drive to the post office.  Oh, and get the strawberry bed ready for winter.

Know what Alyx says?  That I'm retired now, and I haven't got things going on constantly that require my mental energy, even though I've got a busy schedule.  So my head comes up with things.  She may be on to something.




18 comments:

Olga said...

You are fortunate to have a sister who can "talk you down." I have a good friend who can do that for me.

Beth said...

I love sisters. I tell all of my worries to my sis and she talks me out of it too.

I hope this all gets straightened out for you soon.

Terra said...

You are blessed to have a sister who offers wise advice. You mention "positional vertigo", which term is new to me and I am going to search it online since today I woke up with vertigo! Small world.

Grandmother said...

Sounds distressing! Great to have a sister who cares enough to listen closely and advise. Hope you heal quickly.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

There are so many OTC medications and herbal remedies that it's easy to start overmedicating or mixing drugs that we shouldn't mix. It's great that your sister has the skills to recognize what's happening and to help you with it. Hmm...my verifier word is "baggie."

DJan said...

You sure seem to be a chronic overachiever, so I guess it's normal for you to double everything just to be sure, right? Great to have such a sister. Mine told me last week to get myself to the doctor, my cough was NOT getting better. Now I'm all okay again. Sisters are the best! And I hope your wooziness clears up, I hate it when that happens. :-)

Arkansas Patti said...

I do believe half our medical problems come from over medication. It is so easy to do. Glad you have a sister to keep things straight.

#1Nana said...

I've always wanted a sister...brothers are nice, but not in the same way sisters are. When I see my two granddaughters together I realize how lucky they are to have each other and be forever friends.

Get well soon!

June said...

Hoo boy....the dark alleys....! I know them well.
It is GOOD to have somebody who will listen and give clear objective advice, or...less than advice...more "clear observations." I'm glad you have such a person to bounce your thoughts off...somebody who won't remind you later and thus, take you right back there.

Out on the prairie said...

Your sis sounds wise, she will do good in the health field. I don't always listen to my doc and undermedicate some, forgetting the stuff in front of me at my table. My daughter looks these over periodically and gives me a med talk.LOL

Rita said...

You're lucky to have somebody you can discuss the dark tunnel stuff with. I was on my own on that score for decades, but then I learned to do it by myself. Now I actually do have people if I need them. What a blessing. Your sister is a treasure in your life. :)

Dee said...

Your sister seems like a blessing in your life. I'm glad that you have her. I have a friend who helps me remember to listen to my body.

I have Meniere's Disease and spent 18 months having acute rotational vertigo episodes. Fortunately that time is over and all I get are occasional days of wooziness and bad headaches.

If--and that's a big IF--you have any interest in reading about my problems with Meniere's and the dark tunnels of the mind, I've posted several posts on my blog under the category heading: Meniere's.

Peace.

Sandi said...

I also say, "Thank goodness for sisters!" Whether they are biological or a good friend, we need to bounce things off of them and get a reality check. Sisters aren't afraid to tell us when we're going too far . . . or not far enough! I'm grateful for my sister!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Your sister is a very wise and loving woman, Linda! You're fortunate in siblings!

FrankandMary said...

Sometimes a little Zen(or Tibetan, in my case)meditation therapy can work as well :-).~Mary

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

It makes me miss my sis even more. I'm wondering if I need some of that Zen??? Or better yet, maybe J does. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest all of his life and I think that there are times when the season is tougher than others.

Now, you listen to your sis!!

Linda Reeder said...

I hope it's OK that I'm laughing.

Deb Shucka said...

Lucky you to have such a wise sister, and that you're willing to listen to her. :-)